U.Porto invests circa half a million euros to strengthen support to mobility students

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The University of Porto is equipping 75 rooms to strengthen support to mobility students under the Erasmus+ programme. International students are able to attend online classes from especially equipped rooms within the 14 faculties if the U. Porto, as of the start of the second semester.

University of Porto International students are able to attend online classes from especially equipped rooms within the 14 faculties if the U. Porto, as of the start of the second semester. This measure is part of the ambitious project that will allocate 425 thousand euros to support the Erasmus+ activities organised in a blended mobility, with the main goal of mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in student’s everyday lives.

Hence, state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment will be put in place in the 75 rooms within the 14 faculties of the U.Porto, as well as other services to better the everyday academic routines of the international students that are completing a mobility semester (IN), or students undergoing a mobility period in Europe (OUT), under the Erasmus+ programme.

“The setting up of this technology was adamant during this second semester already, as regards the transition to digital and, later on, to the hybrid regime, and it was key to mitigating constraints related to Covid-19 regarding student mobility, thus ensuring that students get a quality Erasmus experience, even in such a challenging context as the one we are experiencing”, explained Joana Carvalho, in-charge of International relations and Sports at the U.Porto.

Sports and medical support

In addition to the rooms organised for the teaching activities, this project also includes a service room, within the Social Action Services of the UP (SASUP) for virtual medical support targeted at mobility students (IN and OUT). This will enable the performing of remote medical appointments – namely psychological appointments – and other issues regarding mobility student’s adaptation to the academic, cultural and social context.

There are two other rooms that will be set up at the University of Porto Sports Centre (CDUP), with the goal of implementing a physical activity virtual programme for all mobility students, especially the OUT students

These rooms can also serve as contact centres between the U.Porto and European Higher Education partner institutions, as well as potential partners to establishing new collaborations within the new Erasmus+ new programme.

“This adds to the work we have developed; on one hand we are able to strengthen the offer to students as regards welcoming activities, in-person or remotely; on the other hand, the University will provide support to facing the new challenges that this pandemic brought about, namely the psychological and physical wellbeing of our students”, emphasised Joana Carvalho.

At this point, the project has set up 57 rooms; the remaining rooms should be operational until the end of the civil year. Also, circa 75% of this project is financed by the Erasmus+ Programme under the exceptional/extraordinary budget to minimize the impact of the pandemic; the reminder of the funding is ensured by the U.Porto, through the Santander Programme.

Despite the pandemic, it worth highlighting that circa 1100 students, from more than 50 countries are studying or have been studying in Porto, within an international mobility period, and 630 are in Porto under the Erasmus+.